What does Research mean regarding R&D Tax Relief?


Research and development is the generation of new knowledge. In a business setting, it is an activity that companies may undertake in order to develop new products, processes or services or to improve on those that already exist.

In order to do these, businesses often take on risk. This is due to the uncertainties that exist around the objective and if/what they are attempting to do/create is technically feasible or more commonly, if they even know if they will achieve the objectives in practical terms.

R&D is a critical function for many businesses, launching new offerings or improving existing ones. This is a way in which most businesses drive to remain competitive and most importantly profitable.

All R&D tends to start with ideas and theories, this can relate to identifying issues or new opportunities. The R&D process focuses on exploring and researching these ideas, seeing what is realistic, feasible and practical. There are two main types of research within R&D...

Elements of Research
  • Clear objectives?
  • Technical uncertainty ?
  • Unexpected issues?
  • Changes required to remain compliant?
  • Legislative/Industry updates?
  • Targeting new markets/audience?

Basic Research

Basic research is all about acquiring knowledge and using it to build an understanding and intelligence that your business can use to its advantage. This knowledge can be the foundation of further R&D projects and feed into strategic business decisions.

Applied research

Applied research is a lot more defined and often looks at achieving specific objectives. This could be using a new technology, reaching a new market, improving safety or cutting costs. Applied research is often what leads to a development phase.